Morena – I know a number of organisations have faced the issue that if they are not a Charity (registered) or an Incorporated Society (and potential also registered as a charity) then some funding organisations will not be able to fund their activities – however there are funders who are ok not funding registered charities. Under legislation there are clear requirements around charity registration – and there is a cost to doing that. I suspect when you sit back and look at your kaupapa it is important to separate ‘who benefits from this’ and ‘who can fund it’ – and if they are separate people, then looking at your total market for funders and what they are prepared to fund and what they are allowed to fund will lead you to a conclusion around whether you need to be registered or not. If you do, then finding support from groups in your region, area including a local lawyer may enable you to short-circuit the process. Also talk to other charities that have gone through the process and/or approach the Government Charities Organisation.

My challenge to you in the interim is – find funders who so believe in what you are doing, that they will still fund you even if you are not a registered charity. Then build up reserves to enable you to go and fund the registration and investigation as to whether your activities can be a charity.